Randall Reeves

No Escaping the Blob

22 Feb

February 20, 2019

Day 139

Noon Position: 47 10S  163 10W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Wind(t/tws): SWxW 13

Sea(t/ft): W 3

Sky: Overcast

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 1023

Cabin Temp(f): 66

Water Temp(f): 59

Relative Humidity(%): 80

Sail: Twin headsails poled out.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 159

Miles since departure: 19,166

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Days since Cape Horn: 82

Miles since Cape Horn: 11,525

Avg. Miles/Day: 141

Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 53

Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 264 22

Avg. Long./Day: 3.22

A nice day’s run. Overnight, we edged further north than ...

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Fast Winds, Big Sea

20 Feb

February 187, 2019/Day 136

Noon Position: 47 16S  173 45W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7+

Miles since departure: 18,734

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

 

Brisk winds with squalls continue. Nights have been kind; wind and seas have been steady, allowing good sleep. But the days are a wild card of open sky followed by squalls, then open sky again. The open sky episodes blow hard. The squalls blow hard, but wind is quite variable. Thus, I’ve had to reef the twin headsails way in for the sake of energy conservation. It’s either that or sit on deck with a winch handle in my ...

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Do Over

19 Feb

February 16 (again), 2019/Day 135 (again)

Noon Position: 47 07S  177 42 *WEST*

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7

Miles since departure: 18,572

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

 

Last night before midnight, Mo crossed the 180th meridian and passed from east longitude back into west longitude. More interestingly, from a balance sheet perspective, we crossed the International Date Line, which makes today February 16, again.

What is the International Date Line? It’s the day I get to take my miles back!

I keep Mo on zone time at sea, the same kind of time we live by on land. There are 24 one-hour zones ...

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Failures and Fixes

18 Feb

February 16, 2019/Day 135

Noon Position: 47 15S  178 34E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6+

Miles since departure: 18,420

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

 

A slow night has given way to a fast day. Rain in the morning. Then squalls till mid afternoon. Then puffy cumulus as the wind hardened into the middle 30s from the WSW. This surprised me, that the low would come with cumulus and not the solid deck and rain one expects. But as I type, the sky astern has grown dark and heavy. Now comes the low.

We are entering that part of the voyage where gear ...

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A Gam at Sea, Thwarted

17 Feb

February 15, 2019/Day 134

Noon Position: 47 20S  175 26E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 5

Miles since departure: 18,293

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

So slow. We haven’t had a 150-mile day in nearly two weeks. Fastest day in the last eleven, 137 miles, and that one is way ahead of the average. On four days, we’ve made less tha 100 miles. That’s more sub 100-mile days in two weeks than we’ve had since departure. The forecast predicts wind should pick up–a low is approaching, but each new forecast pushes its arrival out another day.

I’m trying to relax into it. Tough. Cape ...

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Valentine’s Day

16 Feb

February 14, 2019/Day 133

Noon Position: 48 05S  172 54E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5

Miles since departure: 18,181

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

No one who knows my wife, Joanna, would call her sentimental. Nor, being British, does she approve the California habit of hugging when clearly a handshake will do. She’s effusive and bubbly and extremely personable; she knows no such thing as having too many friends. But sentimentality is not her gig.

That said, on the occasion of both Figure 8 departures, Joanna has gifted me with deeply touching letters and a small collection of photos. Frankly, it has almost ...

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Mo (Re)Enters to the Pacific

15 Feb

February 13, 2019/Day 132

Noon Position: 47 36S  169 48E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Miles since departure: 18,054

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

Sunny and clear when I came on deck at 6am. Wind had slowly veered into the north overnight, but it stayed light until midmorning.

During my pre-breakfast ship inspection, I discovered there had been a drama on deck while I slept. Up near the port chainplates, I found a small clump of feathers and a white, chalky deposit. As I looked toward the stern, there were further deposits in various colors, including black and Krill red, until, at the ...

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Onward to the East

14 Feb

February 12, 2019/Day 131

Noon Position: 47 34S  167 18E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): –

Miles since departure: 17,952

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

 

I put on the anchor light after dinner and went to bed. On an ever relaxing sea, Mo rolled with the slow grace of a cruise ship. The bunk was still; all around was quiet. Quiet. Such unaccustomed  luxury, quiet.

In the night, our drift went to the west, a safe direction, and never more than a knot. Each time I checked, the answer was the same. Sleep well.

On deck at dawn, I found we’d been overtaken by fog. ...

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Adrift between The Snares and The Traps

13 Feb

February 12, 2019Day 130

Noon Position: 47 52S  167 08E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): —

Miles since departure: 17,941

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

The Snares lie 20 miles to the SW; The Traps, 35 miles to the NE. In between is Mo, adrift.

I doused sail when the wind died in the early morning and went right back to bed. It had been a long night, crossing that northerly stream of wind and rain. But sleep was not to be had. At 5am, the AIS alarm sounded for the first time since Cape Horn. It told that a small expedition cruise ship out ...

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Crossing the Stream

12 Feb

February 10, 2019/Day 129

Noon Position: 47 33S  164 57E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Wind(t/tws): NNE 23 – 29

Miles since departure: 17,851

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Overnight I “hove to” with main only just to slow down. The forecast called for heavy N winds right off New Zealand’s south coast to extend out another day, and I was suddenly way ahead of schedule. In the morning, the time seemed right. I made sail and began to drive Mo through the stream.

From my notes to a friend afterwards…

Well, that was a rough go.

Some of the steepest, maddest seas ...

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